A non-profit news blog, focused on providing independent journalism.

Friday, 14 August 2015

Exclusive: Jeb Bush Linked to Cartel Money Laundering While Serving CIA

During the recent Republican presidential candidates’ “debate” in Cleveland, former Florida Governor John Ellis Bush (JEB) wanted to recount his eight years as governor of the Sunshine State; however, it is not Bush the politician who should be of interest to voters but Bush the Central Intelligence Agency “non-official cover” banker in Venezuela and Miami-based real estate businessman/money launderer who should alarm the American electorate.

Credit: iprphoto / Flickr

While Jeb’s brother, George W. Bush, glossed over his AWOL status with the Texas Air National Guard, Jeb does not have a military record to defend but he does have a CIA employment record to fess up to.

Jeb’s early work in Venezuela and south Florida is much more troubling than Dubya pretending to be on active duty in Texas while he was actually off in Alabama helping a GOP U.S. Senate campaign and getting sloppy drunk in redneck bars. Jeb should fully explain his relationship with Alberto Duque, a Colombian national who laundered drug money for the Medellin and Cali narco-cartels and Nicaraguan contras while serving as owner of City National Bank of Miami and president of the General Coffee Company of Colombia.

Apparently, there was more than coffee arriving in sacks of coffee coming into Miami from Colombia. Duque financed a $30 million real estate development project run by Jeb Bush.

In 1983, Duque was convicted for fraud and sent to federal prison. Duque hired a Bush family CIA crony to serve as City National Bank’s president.

He was Don Beazley, who previously worked for the CIA’s Nugan Hand Bank in Australia. Before it collapsed, Nugan Hand was responsible for laundering money from the CIA’s Golden Triangle opium and heroin smuggling operations from Southeast Asia’s Golden Triangle and paying off U.S. surrogates in Asia, including Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines, Suharto in Indonesia, Park Chung Hee in South Korea, and various Thai generals.

In return for CIA money gifts, Marcos ordered his Energy Minister, Geronimo Velasco, to have the Philippines National Oil Corporation enter into business relationships with three Bush family-owned businesses: Zapata Petroleum Corporation, Zapata Offshore Company, and Overbey Oil Development Corporation. The three Bush firms were also linked to various CIA activities, including the abortive 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba.

Jeb Bush’s Texas Commerce Bank was also the bank used by the Zapata companies. Velasco died of a sudden heart attack in San Francisco in 2007. Velasco’s Republic Glass Corporation became a holding company that owned a number of British Virgin Islands-based subsidiaries.

Beazley had also been president of Great American Bank of Miami. The bank was indicted for drug money laundering in 1982. Beazley also negotiated the sale of Second National Bank of Homestead, a subsidiary of Great American, to Nugan Hand. It was in this environment of interconnected CIA money laundering banks that Jeb Bush found himself and his real estate business immersed in the 1980s.

Wayne Madsen is an investigative journalist who consistently exposes cover-ups from deep within government. Want to be the first to learn the latest scandal? Click on the banner above and subscribe today!

On January 25, 1980, Frank Nugan, the Australian co-founder of Nugan Hand Bank, was found dead in his car near Bowenfels, New South Wales from a “self-inflicted” rifle shot wound to his head. The card of ex-CIA director William Colby, who, himself was found floating in Chesapeake Bay, Maryland in 1996, was found in Nugan’s pocket.

Colby was Nugan Hand’s legal counsel. Hand had planned to move with his wife and three young children to Florida but someone apparently did not like the idea of Nugan showing up in Florida during the year George H W Bush was trying to become the president of the United States.

After serving as vice president for Texas Commerce Bank in Caracas from 1977 to 1979, Bush joined his father’s presidential campaign in 1980. Serving with Bush on the campaign was the CIA official who gave him his in-brief at Langley in 1977, Robert Gambino, the deputy director of security at the agency.

In the 1980s, Jeb Bush provided liaison between his father’s national security adviser, Donald Gregg, and various Florida-based right-wing Nicaraguan and Cuban exile organizations helping to fight the clandestine war against the Sandinista government of Nicaragua.

Jeb was appointed by his father to the board of the National Republican Institute, the GOP branch of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the CIA-financed money laundering operation that saw millions pour into the coffers of the Nicaraguan contras, Cuban exile groups, and Salvadorean, Guatemalan, and Honduran death squads.

Jeb acted as a liaison between Dr. Mario Castejon, a right-wing candidate for president of Guatemala, and Vice President Bush. Castejon sought funding for a secret shipment of arms to the contras and other right-wing rebel groups in Central America that would be masked as “medical supplies.”

Jeb Bush’s relationship with City National Bank, whose other senior director was Leonard Abess, a director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Foundation, ensured that a large share of NED money flowed to Israeli security firms like Tadiran, which helped Guatemala and Honduras track down leftist guerrillas and exterminate them.

Jeb Bush’s current support for Israel stems from his early business relationships with Zionists like Abess and other offshoots of the Meyer Lansky “Kosher Nostra” crime family in south Florida. Abess is currently a member of the Federal Reserve Bank branch of Miami. [See linked article below in “Summary” on pre-9/11 Fed money movement to Fed branch in Miami].

Jeb’s thank you letter to Gambino after his 1977 CIA in-briefing at Langley. Texas Commerce Bank was owned by the family of James Baker, an early George H W Bush adviser as well as close friend.

It could be argued that Jeb Bush, from his in-brief by Gambino at the CIA in 1977, to his unsuccessful run for governor of Florida in 1994 was a reliable CIA and Israeli asset.

In 1990, Jeb urged his father to pardon Cuban terrorist Orlando Bosch, a man wanted for the 1976 bombing of a Cuban civilian passenger plane that had taken off from Bridgetown, Barbados.

Jeb Bush was also a supporter of the U.S. House of Representatives candidacy of Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, one of the most rabid anti-Castro and pro-Israeli members of Congress. Jeb also succeeded in having his father name Dexter Lehtinen, Ileana’s husband, to be U.S. Attorney for Southern Florida.

Lehtinen permitted a number of Jeb’s friends in the Cuban and Jewish communities in southern Florida to escape prosecution for crimes ranging from drug money laundering to narcotics smuggling and contract assassinations to banking fraud.

Most of Jeb’s business friends were CIA-linked bankers. In addition to Beazley, Duque, and Abess, these included Paul Helliwell, a Miami-based lawyer and the owner of two CIA money laundering banks, Great American Bank of Miami, later bought by Nugan Hand and indicted in 1982 for drug money laundering, and Castle Bank & Trust Ltd. of Nassau in the Bahamas.

Helliwell, a veteran of the Office of Strategic Security (OSS) during World War II, died at the age of 62 on Christmas Eve of 1976, just a few weeks before George H W Bush departed as CIA director.

The autopsy said Helliwell died from “complications of emphysema.” Castle Bank shut down in 1977, the same year that Jeb moved to Caracas to work for Texas Commerce Bank.

An affiliated bank that shared directors with Castle Bank, Mercantile Bank & Trust of Freeport, Bahamas, also suspended operations in 1977. Castle Bank, which had laundered CIA money to pay off such dictators as Marcos in the Philippines, Rafael Trujillo in the Dominican Republic, and Anastasio Somoza in Nicaragua, saw much of its revenue initially come from Nationalist Chinese drug smugglers operating out of the Golden Triangle in Southeast Asia.

In addition to Nassau, Helliwell’s Castle Bank operated out of the Cayman Islands and Panama. Among the bank’s account holders were the Pritzker family of Chicago, which owns the Hyatt Hotel chain, and the daughter of President Chiang Kai-shek of Taiwan. Between 1964 and 1975, Helliwell’s major CIA front company, Sea Supply Corporation, ran covert military operations against Cuba from Andros Island, the largest island in the Bahamas.

Jeb’s business deals also put him in close contact with two other Florida banks, Northside Bank of Miami, owned by the Cali cartel, and the Popular Bank and Trust Company, once owned by Nicaragua’s Somoza but transferred to CIA control after his assassination by Sandinista commandos in Paraguay in 1980.

After his return from Caracas to Florida in 1979, Jeb befriended the right-wing Nicaraguan community as much as he did the right-wing exiled Cubans. Much of the billions of dollars that the Somoza family stole from Nicaragua ended up in CIA-connected banks that helped finance Jeb’s many real estate and other ventures.

Jeb Bush as CIA “NOC” in the late 1970s [left]. Is Jeb Bush [right circled] at the 1980 funeral of ex-Nicaraguan fascist dictator Anastasio Somoza at Miami’s Woodlawn Park Cemetery? Others in attendance included U.S. Representatives Larry McDonald (D-GA) and John Murphy (D-NY). Somoza was assassinated by a Sandinista car bomb in Asuncion, Paraguay. The explosion left only Somoza’s feet intact.

One of Gambino’s last acts as the CIA’s director of security was to preserve the myriad of CIA special clearance categories, including those that permitted NOCs like Jeb Bush and drug- and arms-smuggling proprietary companies and money laundering banks to flourish.

The Carter administration had ordered the intelligence community to reduce its compartmented access system with over 50 code words to just five special code word compartments by July 1980. The National Security Agency and Gambino balked and the new system, code named APEX, never materialized.

When Jeb’s father became vice president in 1981, APEX was scrapped for the original system, which saw the number of special compartments grow in number in order to accommodate operations that included trading weapons for hostages with Iran and covertly funding the Nicaraguan contras.

One CIA official who was alarmed over APEX was the man who CIA director George H W Bush named as deputy director for covert operations in 1976, Ted Shackley, aka the “Blond Ghost.” Shackley was an old colleague of George H W Bush stemming from his days as the station chief of JMWAVE, the Miami CIA office dedicated to overthrow Fidel Castro in Cuba.

It was there that Shackley and Bush became involved with Cuban exile and mafia parties that were later tied to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas in 1963.

The “Cuba thing” was mentioned by President Richard Nixon on Oval Office tapes subpoenaed in the Watergate scandal. It is now known that the “Cuba thing” was code for the assassination of Kennedy and the CIA’s involvement in the operation.

Shackley was also involved with Donald Gregg in the Phoenix assassination program in South Vietnam and Project FUBELT, the CIA operation to overthrow President Salvador Allende of Chile on September 11, 1973.

An undated TOP SECRET memo to Shackley from a CIA official whose name is redacted but believed to be Gambino provides details of Shackley and the CIA’s security division opposition to APEX.

The memo states:

“there is no intention of establishing under the Community Security Group responsibility for a centralized computerized data base of all SCI [Sensitive Compartmented Information] approvals. The CSG has no functional role in this area at this time, and one is planned for the future. The CIA Special Security Center’s Compartmented Information Branch is the home of the community service on special access certifications and records. They handle SPECLE . . . Any effort to upgrade the SPECLE system is years away. Further, NSA has taken no steps toward inputting their COMINT clearances.”

In other words, the policy of President Jimmy Carter and his CIA director, Admiral Stansfield Turner, to limit CIA special compartments and display more accountability was being undermined by two Bush embeds in Langley, Gambino and Shackley.

Shackley and Gambino were eventually forced by Turner to retire. The almost limitless penchant of the CIA to create special compartments permitted assets like Jeb Bush at the Texas Commerce Bank and Barack Obama, Jr. at Business International Corporation to evade public scrutiny as CIA employees.

In a January 24, 1980 memo, to Gambino from the CIA member of the APEX Steering Group, special compartments are described as as protecting “industrial” personnel working for the CIA, NSA, and Defense Intelligence Agency.

Shackley became involved in the “October Surprise” plot by Bush and William Casey against Carter, also known as the “arms-for-no-hostages” conspiracy. Gambino joined the 1980 Bush for President and, later, the Reagan-Bush campaign. According to Jeff Stein, writing for Newsday’s July 25, 1980 issue, joining Gambino on the campaign were at least 40 other ex-CIA officers hired by Bush and Casey.

Jeb Bush’s rise to financial and political power in Florida is coupled with a trail of dead bodies, failed banks and savings and loan institutions accused of laundering money for the CIA, and dubious characters who served as CIA assets.

Until Jeb Bush fully accounts for his business activities in the 1970s, 80s, and early 90s, he is actually more unfit for the presidency than his draft-dodging and AWOL status brother, George W. Bush.

Wayne Madsen is an investigative journalist who consistently exposes cover-ups from deep within the government. Want to be the first to learn the latest scandal? Go to WayneMadsenReport.com subscribe today! 

46 million Americans go to food banks, and long lines for dwindling food supplies begin at 6:30 AM

Those that run food banks all over America say that demand for their services just continues to explode.  It always amazes me that there are still people out there that insist that an “economic collapse” is not happening.  From their air-conditioned homes in their cushy suburban neighborhoods they mock the idea that the U.S. economy is crumbling.  But if they would just go down and visit the local food banks in their areas, they would see how much people are hurting.

According to Feeding America spokesman Ross Fraser, 46 million Americans got food from a food bank at least one time during 2014.  Because the demand has become so overwhelming, some food banks are cutting back on the number of days they operate and the amount of food that is given to each family.  As you will see below, many impoverished Americans are lining up at food banks as early as 6:30 in the morning just so that they can be sure to get something before the food runs out.  And yet there are still many people out there that have the audacity to say that everything is just fine in America.  Shame on them for ignoring the pain of millions upon millions of their fellow citizens.

Poverty in America is getting worse, not better.  And no amount of spin from Barack Obama or his apologists can change that fact.

This year, it is being projected that food banks in the United States will give away an all-time record 4 billion pounds of food.

Over the past decade, that number has more than doubled.

And that number would be even higher if food banks had more food to give away.  The demand has become so crushing that some food banks have actually reduced the amount of food each family gets

Food banks across the country are seeing a rising demand for free groceries despite the growing economy, leading some charities to reduce the amount of food they offer each family.

Those in need are starting to realize what is going on, so they are getting to the food banks earlier and earlier.  For example, one food bank in New Mexico is now getting long lines of people every single day starting at 6:30 in the morning

“We get lines of people every day, starting at 6:30 in the morning,” said Sheila Moore, who oversees food distribution at The Storehouse, the largest pantry in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and one where food distribution has climbed 15 percent in the past year.

Does that sound like an “economic recovery” to you?

Just because your family doesn’t have to stand in line for food does not mean that everything is okay in America.

The same thing that is happening in New Mexico is also happening in Ohio.  Needy people are standing in line at the crack of dawn so that they can be sure to get something “before the food runs out”

Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, executive director of the Ohio Association of Food Banks, who has been working in food charities since the 1980s, said that when earlier economic downturns ended, food demand declined, but not this time.

“People keep coming earlier and earlier, they’re standing in line, hoping they get there before the food runs out,” Hamler-Fugitt said.

And keep in mind that we are just now entering the next global financial crisisand the next major recession.

So how bad will things be when millions more Americans lose their jobs and millions more Americans lose their homes?

Rising poverty is also reflected in the number of Americans on food stamps.  The following graph was posted by the Economic Policy Journal, and it shows how food stamp use has absolutely exploded in the five most populated states…

Food Stamp Recipients - Economic Policy Journal

I don’t see an “economic recovery” in that graph, do you?

Instead, what it shows is that the number of Americans on food stamps continued to rise for years even after the recession ended.

Sadly, things are only going to get worse from here.  Eventually, the kinds of things that we are seeing happen in places such as Venezuela will be coming here as well.  At this point, young mothers in Venezuela are sleeping outside of empty supermarkets at night in a desperate attempt to get something for their families when morning arrives

As dawn breaks over the scorching Venezuelan city of Maracaibo, smugglers, young mothers and a handful of kids stir outside a supermarket where they spent the night, hoping to be first in line for scarce rice, milk or whatever may be available.

Some of the people in line are half-asleep on flattened cardboard boxes, others are drinking coffee.

Most Americans cannot identify with this level of suffering, but it is coming to our country someday too.  Here is more from Reuters

“I can’t get milk for my child. What are we going to do?” said Leida Silva, 54, breaking into tears outside the Latino supermarket in northern Maracaibo where she arrived at 3 a.m. on a recent day.

Just a couple of days ago, I wrote about how the number of Americans living in concentrated areas of high poverty has doubled since the year 2000.

In case you are wondering, that is not a sign of progress.

Just because you might live in a comfortable neighborhood that does not give you the right to look down on those that are suffering.

And when you add increasing racial tensions to the mix, it becomes easier to understand why there is so much anger and frustration in our urban areas.  According to Business Insider, the percentage of Americans that consider race relations to be in good shape in this nation has dropped precipitously…

Over the last two years there has been a 23% drop in the number of Americans who see relations between blacks and whites as “very good” or “somewhat good.”

Today, only 47% of Americans see black-white relations positively, according to a Gallup poll, the lowest it has been in the last 14 years.

The poll also showed that blacks see the relations more positively (51%) than whites (45%), but both percentages experienced sharp declines in the last two years.

All of the ingredients are there for civil unrest to erupt in cities all over the United States.

When the next major economic downturn happens, anger and frustration are going to flare to extremely dangerous levels.  At this point, it will not take much to set things off.

Desperate people do desperate things, and desperation is rising even now in this country.

So how did things get so bad?

Stupid decisions lead to stupid results, and very soon we will start to pay a very great price for decades of incredibly stupid decisions. 

Video Surfaces Showing #Ferguson Shooter Tyrone Harris Flashing a Gun at #MikeBrown Protest

A video has surfaced showing Tyrone Harris flashing a gun at a protest after Michael Brown’s death last year.

On Sunday night Tyrone Harris, a friend of Michael Brown, was shot by police officers in an unmarked van after he exchanged fire with them.

brown friend shooter
Harris was critically injured during the exchange.

Tyrone Harris underwent surgery for his injuries and was charged withfour counts of assaulton police officers on Monday.

Harris hasseveral photoson Facebook of himself holding guns.

tyrone harris

County police released video on Tuesday of Tyrone Harris drawing his gun in Ferguson.

ktvi video shooter ferguson

Now this…

A video has surfaced showing shooter Tyrone Harris flashing a gun at a Michael Brown protest in Ferguson.

tyrone harris gun

Harris and Mike Brown were friends.